Our teachers should stay here To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
February 7, 2002

I have been following the media coverage, (electronic and print) on the recent attempts by U.S authorities to recruit Guyanese teachers for temporary employment in the inner city New York schools.

Following the September 11, 2001 events, many Caribbean based teachers recently recruited, were thrown out of their temporary lodgings in New York by landlords, and they were placed at the mercy of the city authorities.

I find the exercise of U.S authorities coming here to take our teachers a wicked act. The current Ambassador Ronald Goddard and the head of the USAID Carol Becker go around Guyana with Regional Chambers promoting economic activity - good for Guyana. At the same time, however, the same U.S Government entices our teachers to leave, so who is going to teach our students to become skilled artisans, and competent I.T technicians to help in this drive for industrial development?

American trained teachers fear to teach in the Inner schools of their cities. The school board cannot get them even at the best salaries for fear of their lives.

The Canadians are subtler. They encourage our skilled people to apply for placements and they offer them residential visas if they have the required skills.

There is no way Guyanese can be prevented from leaving. But when a former Minister of Education, Bernard gloats over the crisis and tries to give the impression that it is a PPP phenomenon, that is grossly dishonest. In his time our teachers were all over the Caribbean.

The anchor man on Capital News on Friday January 18, 2002 whose wife, I understand is a PNC nominee on the City Council could not conceal his enthusiasm over the spectacle, because he saw it as a nail in the PPP coffin.

Neither he nor the former minister gave themselves the opportunity to count the cost to Guyana. It is amazing how partisan politics prevent Guyanese separating the woods from the trees.